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Demand for molasses outstripping supply in QLD

Virginia Tapp and Miriam Hall, Tuesday November 5, 2013 - 14:29 EDT
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Cattle standing in a bare paddock, north of Julia Creek, Queensland. - ABC

The Queensland Minister for Agriculture, John McVeigh, has met with lobby groups and sugar millers to try and address the enormous demand for molasses across Queensland as a result of the drought.

Molasses is a sugar by-product that's fed to livestock when there's no grass around, and concerns have been raised that the country's molasses supplies are running low.

Rural lobby AgForce believes demand is outstripping supply at the moment and that it's time to start planning for a worst case scenario.

Chief Executive Officer Charles Burke says they're trying to work out exactly how much molasses is left for domestic customers.

"What we need to do is a stocktake of what we've got and we need to find out what the demand is at the moment.

"Then we need to start looking to the future and work out how we're going to make sure that we address demand as it may escalate as things continue to dry out."

The sugar milling council says importing molasses is an option if domestic supplies run out.

Dominic Nolan says there's still molasses available around the state, but stocks are beginning to dry up.

"We would say there are supplies for the coming month, but its certainly something you want to look at early in dry periods such as we've got now to find out what the options might be for the longer term.

"There's always the option for imports for molasses, I think that's something the feed suppliers would be looking at,"

"Of course there's a commercial risk associated with that."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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